Healthy eating over the holidays can be tough. Finger food and cocktails are overly abundant at every holiday party, and the cold weather certainly doesn’t help the comfort food cravings. But instead of trying to steer clear of all fatty foods, indulge a little. You read that right, indulging is 100 percent okay — it is the holidays after all. Indulging smartly, however, is the key.
Health expert Dr. Dean Ornish has five tips for navigating holiday parties:
- Eat something beforehand. If you don’t eat all day, you may arrive at holiday meals and parties ravenous and lose control.
- Eat the healthier foods first – they will fill you up somewhat, so you’ll be less likely to overeat the more indulgent foods.
- Choose foods that leave evidence – e.g., keep the shrimp tails and chicken wing bones on your plate after you’ve eaten them. Studies show that if you have cues to see how much you’ve eaten, you’ll eat less.
- Eat more slowly. The faster we eat, the more we eat. Sip water between bites. Holiday meals last longer than typical meals. If you wolf down your food, your plate may be clean while others are still eating, which will lead to seconds.
- Close your eyes and savor the food periodically during the meal. You’ll consume fewer calories and experience more pleasure.